Lightened-Up Whole Wheat Herb Stuffing

Stuffing has always been my favorite dish on the Thanksgiving table. There’s just something about that buttery, herby, carby dish that pleases my palate. It’s upsetting that stuffing tends to be one of the higher calorie dishes on the Turkey Day menu, so I decided to try my own homemade, healthier version. After tasting this, I’ve realized that there is hope for us after all: stuffing can indeed be healthy and delicious! 

I shaped this recipe around the way my grandmother had always made our stuffing. Many people bake their stuffing, but we’ve always enjoyed it straight off the stovetop. My grandma used to put at least three sticks of butter in her recipe, which unfortunately is a few too many calories for me to consume nowadays (post 150 pound weight loss). After my grandma passed away, my mother began to recreate her mother-in-law’s famous dish, but she cut down on the butter. It’s still my favorite every year, especially because of the long slices of sautéed onions. That was a part of the recipe that always won me over. The smooth, soft onions with the pillowy bread? Incredible.


I reembodied parts of my family’s passed-down recipe, but I lightened it up. I still used a bit of butter, which I normally don’t in Bri Healthy recipes, simply due to the fact that it isn’t an entirely healthy fat. I consider Thanksgiving an exception, and plus, a little bit of butter is not the worst thing in the world. One tablespoon of butter (Land O’Lakes made with olive oil and sea salt is what I used) contains less calories than one tablespoon of olive oil, so the calorie count is sufficient. Plus, stuffing just isn’t the same without butter!


Although I use Ezekiel bread in many of my recipes, I do not recommend it for stuffing. You can give it a try, but from experience, Ezekiel bread is rather firm and I don’t believe it would soak up all of the butter and chicken broth, making the end result not as soft. I used Trader Joe’s 100% whole wheat bread, but any soft 100% whole wheat bread will do. 


If you’re looking for a lightened-up version of traditional stuffing, give this recipe a try. If you’re used to baking your stuffing, all you have to do to modify this recipe is to preheat your oven to 350ºF, spray a baking dish with nonstick spray, add the stuffing to the dish, and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Enjoy, and as always, if you love it, let me know! 

Lightened-Up Whole Wheat Herb Stuffing
Serves 4
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  1. 6 slices of 100% whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
  2. 2 tablespoons butter (preferably made with olive oil), separated (I use Land O'Lakes olive oil butter)
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1 sweet onion, sliced
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  6. ½ tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  7. ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  8. 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  9. Salt
  10. Black pepper
  11. Garlic powder, to taste
  1. Cut bread slices into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large pot and heat on medium-low heat.
  3. As soon as the butter is melted, sauté onions for about 3 minutes, then add the minced garlic.
  4. After about 2 minutes, add the chopped parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Mix well and continue to sauté until onions are translucent.
  5. Place bread cubes into the pot. Toss to coat all pieces.
  6. Add the chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of butter, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper to the bowl and toss to coat well. If needed, add a small bit of garlic powder to taste.
  7. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!
  1. Calories: in entire recipe: 750. Per serving: about 190
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